Complete Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet
Eating a well-balanced, healthy plant-based diet offers numerous benefits to your body, as well as the environment. On the other hand, you can also face challenges when eating vegan. You may receive criticism and questions from friends and family, and you may doubt whether you’re giving your body the plant-based vitamins and minerals it requires.
Maybe you just decided to go vegan, and you’re wondering what your next step should be. Maybe you’ve been vegan for a while and simply need a refresher on how the vegan lifestyle can improve your health. Maybe you’re on the fence and need more information about plant-based eating before you decide whether you should become a vegan.
Regardless of your perspective, this guide shows you what it means to eat a plant-based diet, how to get the plant-based vitamins you need, and provides you with the information to make your plant-based lifestyle last.
What Makes a Healthy Plant-Based Diet?
A vegan way of life means not eating anything that comes from animals, including animal products such as honey, but eating a plant-based diet doesn’t always mean that you’re eating healthy. You can eat highly processed foods on a vegan diet, often with loads of sugar. These foods may taste great, but they don’t benefit your health because they lack the nutrients you need daily. You need to get your daily dose of vitamins, which you can with eating plant-based and adding in an easy vegan supplement, like Vie.
Eating vegan can feel a bit overwhelming though, especially if you focus on what you can’t eat. Instead, you should be energized when you think about all the nutrient-rich, delicious food you do get to eat. Eating a healthy plant-based diet doesn’t mean restricting your choices. On the contrary, you open yourself up to a world of foods and flavors you may never have experienced before. Many vegans believe they didn’t know how great food tasted until they began eating a healthy, plant-based diet.
To ensure your plant-based eating plan remains one filled with health benefits, follow these tips:
- Select fresh, whole foods whenever possible. It may be easy to grab a ton of processed food because they include no animal products, but the key to keeping your plant-based eating healthy means selecting fresh fruits and vegetables and plenty of grains and legumes and limiting added sugars and processed foods.
- Buy loads of greens—then buy more. When you shop for food, pack your basket full of fresh, fiber-rich green vegetables and buy more than you think you need. When you doubt whether you have too many greens, keep in mind that you can easily wilt a ton of greens within minutes into any hot dish, and you can toss in a handful to blend with any smoothie without affecting the flavor.
- Add a vegan supplement. Most vegans know that they can get the nutrients they need from plant-based choices, but when it comes to ensuring that you get your complete daily dose of necessary vitamins your body needs, you can easily add plant-based vitamins to your daily routine with delicious vitamin powder from Vie.
- Include healthy snacks. Snacks make a great way to include protein throughout the day and get in extra servings of fruits and vegetables. Whether you enjoy veggies and hummus, apples and natural peanut butter, or want a trail mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, vegan snacks offer numerous delicious, healthy choices you can enjoy daily.
- Make meal prep your friend. Rather than making individual meals and snacks throughout the day, every day, consider making staples in bulk. You can cook a week’s worth of quinoa in the same amount of time you’d cook a single serving. If you’re taking out the tools to chop up a few veggies for one dish, chop even more to store in the fridge for later in the week. When it comes to snacks, make up a bulk-sized version of your favorite trail mix and dip into it whenever you need it. Just think about what you plan to eat for the week and make what you can in bulk to save you time.
Eating vegan doesn’t mean simply munching on salad and carrots. The more you explore a plant-based way of eating, the more you will discover the foods you love, the snacks that satisfy you, and the more you will enjoy and stick to eating vegan. Plus, with a handy vegan supplement like the portable and delicious vitamin powder from Vie, getting all the nutrients you need—and a boost of green tea caffeine—helps keep your vegan eating clean and simple.
Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet
Eating vegan offers many benefits to your health as well as the environment. The health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet create an immense impact that you can’t ignore.
If you include as much fresh, low-processed food in your eating habits as possible, you can reap these vegan health benefits:
- Lowers risk of heart disease: The Journal of the American Heart Association reports that plant-based eating has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Eating a vegan diet means focusing on nutrient-dense plant-based foods.
- Adds important nutrients to your diet: Because vegans often consume more plant-based whole foods than other diets, vegans tend to add important nutrients to their diets, and you can ensure that you’re getting your entire daily dose of vitamins with convenient, easy-to-use Vie vitamin powder that you simply add to your water.
- Increases potential for weight loss: Many studies have concluded that a healthy vegan diet can lead to weight loss as well as maintaining a healthy weight.
- Reduced pain from inflammation: Vegan diets have been proven to reduce inflammation, which can make a difference in your daily routine. Whether you suffer from arthritis or joint pain while exercising, plant-based eating can naturally reduce some of the pain associated with inflammation.
- Increased fiber intake: Because of the fiber-rich foods most vegans consume, you naturally increase your fiber intake simply by eating vegan, which can reduce your risk of digestive illnesses.
- Lower risk of diabetes, colon and breast cancers, and hypertension: Studies have shown that eating vegan lowers your risk for certain cancers and diabetes and can lower blood pressure. Because what you eat affects your health, it should be no wonder that improving the nutrition quality of what you eat impacts your health for the better.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: Food production makes up about a third of total greenhouse gas emissions, and animal products account for nearly 75% of those emissions associated with food production. Going vegan helps reduce the need for animal products and the environmental effects of their production.
- Saving water: Animal products requires an immense amount of water. Reducing animal product use can reduce the amount of fresh water used in production.
- Limiting agricultural land use: Not only does raising animals for food production take up agricultural land but also, much of the grain grown in the U.S. gets used for animal feed. Reducing animal products can more efficiently use agricultural land for crops that people eat as well as reduce the amount of land stripped for animal production.
Overcoming Challenges to Plant-Based Eating
While you can enjoy numerous benefits of eating vegan, you may wonder what challenges you might need to face and how to overcome them. Follow these tips to understand how best to meet the challenges common to vegan eating:
- Jokes and criticism: You will get comments—constantly—from friends and family who don’t understand your choice. Avoid getting upset and remember that they likely just don’t understand the benefits or how your eating habits work for you. Just stay cool and stick to your plant-based eating. Usually, once people eat more and more of your vegan food, they begin to better understand how and why you choose to eat plant-based only.
- Vitamin B12: You can get every nutrient you need from plant-based eating except Vitamin B12, but you can easily meet that need by adding a Vitamin B12 drink to your day. You can use the vitamin powder from Vie and simply add it to your water daily to get your Vitamin B12 dose, as well as the entire daily dose of vitamins you need.
- Storage: Eating vegan means having a lot of fruits and vegetables in the house, and unless you want to hit the store every day, you may face a challenge in keeping them fresh. Mason jars provide the best way to keep your refrigerated fruits and vegetables crisp and delicious. Just wash and dry your fruits and vegetables and store them in your jars. Even greens that look less-than-stellar will crisp up in the glass jars, and your veggies and fruit will last longer than storing them in plastic or unprotected in your fridge. Plus, when you open your fridge, the colorful assortment looks beautiful, just begging to be eaten.
You can eat with confidence when following a plant-based diet, and you can overcome the challenges you meet because you know that you’re making great choices for both your body and the environment. Never worry that you can’t get what you need nutritionally when you follow plant-based eating. By selecting fresh, whole foods and including a simple-to-use vegan supplement from Vie, you can be sure you’re getting your daily dose of vitamins and making a positive impact on your health and well-being.